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Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
Coverage of Selected Side Events at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20)

13-22 June 2012 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
Events convened on Monday, 18 June 2012
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Stands around Rio+20.
Corporate Sustainability Forum: Economics & Finance of Sustainable Development
From Responsibility to Investment: Accelerating corporate social participation through social enterprise
Organized by SK Group
The side event, moderated by Paulo Sotero, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, consisted of panelists from various international corporations that have incorporated CSR into their company objectives. Panelists were given the opportunity to relate their experiences in social enterprise initiatives, and discuss challenges and opportunities.

Sang Kon Nam, SK Group, presenting on the post-war growth of his company in South Korea, emphasized the corporation’s credo of social enterprise through investing US$ 50 million in a social framework that enhances creativity, efficiency, and sustainability. Citing their seedling global social enterprise in Peru as an example, Nam said the company’s focus is on the integrated and sustainable development of less privileged and marginalized communities. On challenges facing social enterprise establishment, he identified training social entrepreneurs, providing incentives to investors, measuring and evaluating social values, and creating a collaboration framework.

Nicolas Hazard, Vice-Chairman, Groupe SOS, related the objective of his company to develop an economic model for big corporations to tackle the key issues of poverty and exclusion in developed and developing countries. He said over one million people have benefited from the company’s social enterprise initiatives. He related examples of a sustainable mobility joint venture, the development of a retail fund of US$ 500 million to help social enterprise establishment, and a project to provide eyeglasses to the impoverished in India. He highlighted the need for big corporations to enter into social enterprises, as customers need products that make sense, saying the public sector and policy makers are pushing these enterprises, as they need these alliances.

Vicki Sellick, Head, International Advisory Young Foundation, said the critical objective is to develop a niche and targeted social products that empower local entrepreneurs. As conditions for establishing a thriving social enterprise, she identified access to investment, a focus on innovation, and access to mentors to improve business skills.

Tey-won Chey, Chairman and CEO, SK Group, stressed the necessity for businesses to be socially responsible, and not solely focused on profit. He said that although companies need direct returns in the form of publicity, the real benefits include the ability to create improved social values and to provide access to corporations’ skills, networks and synergies. On the challenges to social investments, Chey identified the lack of adequate incentives, saying social values and money making can be mutually beneficial.

During the ensuing discussion, Hazard cited financing social enterprises, capacity building, and awareness of the social needs of communities as some of the problems faced by investment companies.
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L-R: Paulo Sotero, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Tae-won Chey, Chairman and CEO, SK Group; Celso Grecco, President, Social Investment Exchange, Portugal; Nicolas Hazard, Vice-Chairman, Groupe SOS; and Vicki Sellick, Head, International Advisory Young Foundation
Vicki Sellick, Head, International Advisory Young Foundation
Celso Grecco, President, Social Investment Exchange, Portugal
Tae-won Chey, Chairman and CEO, SK Group
Participants during the side event.
Participants during the discussion.
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More Information:
http://www.skgroup.com/
Contact:
Kristy Neo <kristy@skgroup.com.sg>
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Compact for Rio: High-level closing plenary
Organized by the UN Global Compact
Compact 4 Rio convened chief executives from business, leaders from civil society, governments and the UN together with Corporate Sustainability Forum participants to discuss the outcomes of the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum to identify key policy recommendations for government leaders on scaling-up innovation and public-private collaboration in support of sustainability.

H. M. Queen Silvia, Queen of Sweden, opened the event, saying that although many issues are being addressed globally, the most complex problems still remain, including energy, food security, climate change, unemployment and environmental degradation. She stressed that the private sector is key to putting humans on a sustainable track.

Mousavizadeh Nader, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Oxford Analytica, moderating the event, reminded participants that Rio+20 is not taking place in a vacuum, but within the global context of an economic crisis in the EU, the G5 meeting in Iran, and civil unrest in Syria. He said that the earth is entering an era of competitive sovereignty with virtual integration of regions through electronic media, underlining that the strained social compact is waiting for governments to do it right.

In the session on corporate sustainability as a force for change, Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact, presented on scaling-up efforts to advance corporate sustainability and introducing a process to develop global sustainability goals for the post-2015 development agenda, said that the ability to pull together already existing innovations needs to be demonstrated.

Brittany Trilford, 17 year-old activist, Global Campaign for Climate Action, recalled that at the UNCED, the need for change was acknowledged.

Paolo Andrea Colombo, Chairman, Enel, said the private sector is ready for change, noting that sustainable energy, which is a driving force of sustainable development, needs innovative technologies that only the private sector can deliver.

Brian Dames, CEO, Eskom, applauded the prominence water and ecosystems have received at the Corporate Sustainability Forum, saying water is a cross-cutting issue requiring comprehensive management to avoid water conflicts and further degradation of water systems.

José Lopez, Nestlé, noted that sustainable architecture is critical to food security, as 50% of all food in future will come from small-scale farmers. Lopez stressed the need to invest in the agricultural productivity of small-scale farmers, extension services and healthy soils with a focus on the value chain and elimination of perverse agricultural subsidies.

Pierre Sané, President, Imagine Africa International, spoke of the current crisis of human values, and said that sustainability should be based on respect for human rights, transparency and accountability.

Caio Koch-Weser, Deutsche Bank, urged scaling-up of public-private partnerships, integrating environmental and social factors into business reporting, strong leadership and developing transformative green technologies.

Norman Arruda, CEO, ISAE FGV, called for collaboration between business and academia to launch guidelines for higher education.

Patti Londoño, Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs, Colombia, said that it is possible to overcome the political divide in current multilateral negotiations, but it is also urgent to decide the next steps, goals and indicators for the period “after Monday morning.”

Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women, recalled that social issues need to be fully integrated into the sustainability debate. Bachelet stressed that social policies are not charity schemes, but tools, of which gender equality should be a cornerstone.

Amina Mohammed, UN Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, said constructive, actionable outcomes built on the three pillars of sustainability are needed. She stressed that the post- 2015 period presents unique opportunities for clear and robust processes, and called for a renewed commitment to meet the MDGs prior to that period.

Monica de Greiff, CEO, Empresa Energía de Bogotá, urged solution-driven engagement that can develop meaningful solutions for business and corporate sustainability.

Fu Chengyu, Chairman, Sinopec Group, during the thematic roundtable discussions, called for innovative technologies provided by business, and improved efficiency and consumption.

Adrian Sym, Executive Director, Alliance for Water Stewardship, urged stronger recognition of the plight of ocean ecosystems, calling for social platforms to discuss modalities and realistic timelines.

Ruth Nussbaum, Director, Proforest, urged their further alignment, and stressed the importance of market-based instruments.

Andrei Galaev, CEO, Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, said both private sector and government must comply with standards for respecting human rights and avoid complicity in non-compliance.

Zhang Yue, CEO, Broad Group, urged improved planning for urban areas, saying we have only one chance to plan urbanization.

Rachael Kyte, World Bank, stressed that private-public partnerships have to initiate a new dialogue on a green, level playing field, and that natural accounting is essential to planning the future.

On a joint initiative by UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the company, Royal DSM, to donate US$ 1 million to the WFP, Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, WFP, emphasized that there has never been a greater need for collaboration towards tangible results saying, that the UN is committed to putting people at the center of sustainable development. Feike Sijbesma, CEO, Royal DSM, stressed that the current challenges can only be addressed through collaboration, and urged taking joint actions on common goals.

Jean-Marc Ollagnier, Group Chief Executive, Accenture, called for greater action to create capacity between the UN and the business sector, and called for enabling tools and technologies that will accelerate our impact on corporate sustainability.

On a joint commitment between SK Group and the UN Global Compact on capacity-building for social entrepreneurs, Tae-won Chey, Chairman, SK Group, underscored the need for corporate social responsibility.

Rob Bernard, Microsoft, announced his company’s commitment to distribute a carbon fee to all Microsoft buildings as an instrument to achieve 30% energy efficiency improvement, and to develop a data plant that operates on biofuel.

Igal Aisenberg, CEO, Netafim, pledged his company’s endorsement of corporate sustainability, particularly to make water sustainability a priority through setting targets within the company.

Governor Carlos Alberto Richa, State of Paraná, Brazil, announced his state’s network of 399 municipalities that propose to invest in 200 000 social housing projects, 210 family farming projects, 150 community-based projects. He also highlighted the promotion of wi-fi in cities and regulation of PES by the end of 2012 as part of the commitment.

In closing, Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator of Rio+20, spoke of the linkages between this Corporate Sustainability Forum and the Sustainable Development Dialogues. He stressed the necessity of making commitments, announcing the proposed registry of commitments, and said that a significant difference between this conference and 1992 is that the internet now exists, which aids collaboration and networking.

Peter Bakker, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), underlined that sustainability without business is impossible, and said collaboration across all sectors, including dialogue with government, is key.


Guest of honour, Maurice Strong, Secretary-General of the UNCED, applauded the significant discussions that took place over the last three days, saying that the Corporate Sustainability Forum has been the most important meeting at the Rio+20 conference.

Mountain Knowledge Solutions for Sustainable Green Economy and Improved Water, Food, Energy, and Environment Nexus
Organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the Government of Nepal, Mountain Partnership, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), EVK2CNR, Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA)
Co-chaired by Keshab Man Shakya, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Nepal, and Pema Gyamtsho, Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan, this side event highlighted local, national and regional knowledge-based solutions that are inclusive and supportive to the water, food and energy nexus and have promoted green growth strategies and reduced poverty.

David Molden, Director General, ICIMOD, stressed the importance of clean energy to reduce glacier melt and to reduce black carbon from brick kilns, cookstoves, open burning, diesel vehicles and forest fires. The solutions he presented included: increased synergies and tradeoffs between hydropower, food, livelihoods and the environment; improved landscape management; reducing scientific uncertainties about diverse and interconnected human and ecological systems; and putting mountains on the global agenda.

Ram Prasad Lamsal, Joint Secretary, Nepal, presented forestry and watershed policies and practices in Nepal, including, inter alia, maintaining and expanding at least 40% of the land area under forests; managing sensitive watersheds; increasing income generating operations and improving livelihoods; and ensuring proper land use by employing rational land use planning. He emphasized the strong environment and poverty nexus and the need to up-scale from sub-watershed to basin levels.

Karin Lexén, Director, Swedish Water House, stressed the fundamental role of water in mountain regions and the importance of linking global and local contexts. Saying that climate change is water change, Lexén emphasized the need for water management to be fully integrated into climate adaptation and mitigation. She urged for Rio+20 to recognize the importance of integrated water resource management at all levels and to address inter-linkages between water, energy, food and climate change.

Madhav Karki, ICIMOD, presented regional aspects of sustainable development using a case study of the Asian mountains. He highlighted: the importance of traditional and scientific knowledge; mountain-specific policies; and the sustainability of community-based practices. Karki stressed that good environmental governance achieves livelihoods, equity and environmental integrity.

François Rogers, IUCN Global Gender Office, focused on livelihoods and gender equity issues. Rogers presented IUCN’s Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCC) programme founded in 2007, aimed at addressing gender in climate policy and action. He said IUCN supported countries through developing Climate Change and Gender Action Plans (ccGAPs) and showed an example from Nepal.

Marco Onida, Secretary General, Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention, stressed that improving the energy, water, food and environment nexus can only be done through integrating policies on energy, water and agriculture, and working on the basis of transnational and cooperative agreements. Onida applauded the fact that the Rio+20 draft outcome mentions strengthening agreements and sharing experiences between existing cooperative arrangements, such as mountain treaties.

Ania Grobicki, Executive Secretary, GWP, emphasized the importance of mountains as “the water towers of the world”, with up to 50% of the global population economically dependent upon the water and energy from mountainous areas. Reminding that 30% of the world’s freshwater is locked up in snow and ice, Grobicki said that, as the world warms, the glaciers and icecaps are melting and flowing into the oceans, contributing to sea level rise. She talked about GWP’s work with Vox Naturae in raising global awareness about the cryosphere, and announced a global event in September 2013 in Iceland, showcasing the voice of the glacier itself as it cracks and melts. Grobicki expressed hope for the establishment of an Ice Fund to support this under-researched area.
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L-R: Ania Grobicki, Executive Secretary, GWP; Pema Gyamtsho, Minister of Agiculture and Forests, Bhutan; Keshab Man Shakya, Minister of Environment, Sicence and Technology, Nepal; Karin Lexén, Director, Swedish Water House at Stockholm International Water Institute, SIWI; and Madhav Karki, ICIMOD
Pema Gyamtsho, Minister of Agiculture and Forests, Bhutan
Madhav Karki, ICIMOD
Karin Lexén, Director, Swedish Water House
Pema Gyamtsho, Minister of Agiculture and Forests, Bhutan
Ania Grobicki, Executive Secretary, GWP
Marco Onida, Secretary General, Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention
Participants during the side event.
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Dublin Rio Principles: Where do we stand, what lessons learned
Organized by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), GWP; UNDP; International Network for Capacity Building in Sustainable Water Management (Cap-Net); South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies, SaciWATERs, Public Health Institute (PHI), Center for Public Health and Climate Change, and the Gender and Water Alliance (GWA)
This event, moderated by Rejoice Mabudafhasi, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, discussed gender mainstreaming in the water sector and reviewed progress on strategies, actions, approaches and partnerships on gender mainstreaming. The event specifically addressed support for implementing AMCOW’s gender strategy.

Annika Markovic, Swedish Ambassador to Brazil, drew attention to her country’s leadership in gender equity, highlighting development projects funded by Sweden to train African women in water resource management. Referencing the Stockholm+40 Partnership, she added that policies and strategies must be both gender-sensitive and gender-responsive, in order to achieve justice, equality, economic growth and prosperity.

Mercy Dikito-Wachtmeister, GWP, said that some countries still do not have gender mainstreaming and empowerment strategies, preventing full implementation of sustainable water resource management practices. She noted that the most important tool for assessing gender balance is the existence of shared indicators for bench-marking water and energy security.

Anne Marie Sloth Carlsen, UNDP, stressed that access to water is not only a human right but also a driver of human development. Noting that her organization supports gender equity in SDGs, Sloth Carlsen cited examples of projects in Africa where women are empowered in water resource management

Eiman Karar, South Africa’s Water Research Commission, presented studies assessing gender equity in decision-making in agricultural water resource management in South Africa. She said that these studies revealed that water use associations have meaningful benefits, lamenting that patriarchal societies still prevented the active participation of women. She concluded that her research found obstacles still exist, including uncoordinated policies from different departments, despite commitment from South Africa’s government and constitution to enhance gender equity.

Daniela Nogueira, Gender and Water Alliance, said principles of gender equality are important but implementation should respect socio-environmental contexts. She stressed the social ramifications of sustainable water management. Nogueira concluded there is a lack of national statistics on gender indicators for the water sector and that methodological frameworks are insufficient to assure that womens rights are observed when formulating and implementing water policy. She stressed that national governments need to listen to community-based water resource management cases that have achieved gender equality.

Dettina Menne, WHO, presented on climate change, water and health, and their impact on women. She lamented the risk natural disasters pose to women, saying that natural disasters disproportionately affect women. Noting that climate change can exacerbate droughts and malaria, she added that pregnant women with malaria and those living in violence prone areas following drought are particularly at risk. She urged to do more and better of what is already done to empower women in water resource management.

In the ensuing discussions, participants discussed barriers for women’s participation such as institutional structures that marginalize women from lower castes in water resource management. One participant drew attention to the difficulties of keeping gender equality and water management in the draft text of the Rio+20 outcome document. Another commented that senior gender advisors from UNEP and UNDP have had their participation at Rio+20 cancelled.
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L-R: Mercy Dikito-Wachtmeister, GWP; Rejoice Mabudafhasi, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs; Annika Markovic, Swedish Ambassador to Brazil; Anne Marie Sloth Carlsen, UNDP; and Dettina Menne, WHO
Anne Marie Sloth Carlsen, UNDP
Rejoice Mabudafhasi, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs
Annika Markovic, Swedish Ambassador to Brazil
Participants during the side event.
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More Information:
http://www.gwp.org/

Contact:
Mercy <Mercy.Dikito-Wachtmeister@gwp.org
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The Impact of New Technologies and ICTs on Sustainable Development
Organized by the Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development (GAID) and ICT4Peace Foundation
This event outlined the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in implementing sustainable development.

Daniel Stauffacher, ICT4Peace Foundation, chairing the session, charged panelists to address how sustainable development can be joined to information and communication technologies (ICT), lamenting the lack of attention the ties between the two have received thus far.

Nitin Desai, Secretary-General, WSSD, said Rio+20 would not be needed if sustainable development had advanced at nearly the pace ICT has since UNCED. Desai underscored that ICT carries significant potential to underwrite sustainable development by enabling efficiency gains through two-way communication tools like the smart grid, and fostering social opportunities by spreading information through cell phones and other affordable technologies.

Soon-Hong Choi, UN Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO), emphasized that sustainable development is impossible without peace and security, and shared the work of the UN on this sector within the core areas of: peace and security, social and economic development, humanitarian assistance, human rights, and international dispute resolution.

Marcelo de Andrade, Earth Capital Partners, provided a business perspective on the contributions of ICT to resource efficiency and human empowerment. As an example, Andrade conveyed the great gap that exists between the skills of horticulturalists, and those of economically viable agricultural businessmen. He described ICT as a powerful tool to close the skills gap and create economic opportunities for the rural poor in a cost effective manner.

Paul Hengeveld, Microsoft, shared how his company has employed smart sensor technology to deliver significant reductions in the energy use on its campus, and said the same gains could be scaled to the city level.

Quinn Sutton, Digital Alliance Foundation, acknowledged the digital divide but said the skills divide between nations is even greater, and identified the key challenge as neither information nor theory, but skills and tools people can utilize to improve their livelihoods. Sutton argued that ICT affords opportunities to foster dialogue and share information.

Nathaniel Manning, Ushahidi, found the most important development contribution from ICT is building entrepreneurship in developing countries. Relating the successes of his organization, Ushahidi, he emphasized it is an African tech company, not an NGO, with the goal of helping people address their own problems.

Gary Fowlie, International Telecommunication Union, explained that policy built on the principles of sustainable development is critical for ensuring that the development of ICT brings benefits, inclusion, and information to all people of the world, and that universal internet access by 2020 is an achievable goal with coordinated action.

In the ensuing discussion, participants discussed the importance of observation networks for disaster prediction and the need to design ICT for those with disabilities. Desai summarized the session, cautioning against the mesmerization with technology as an end in itself, and heeding participants to account for the environmental impacts for ICT.
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L-R: Gary Fowlie, International Telecommunication Union; Marcelo de Andrade, Earth Capital Partners; Soon-Hong Choi, CITO; Daniel Stauffacher, ICT4Peace Foundation; Nitin Desai, former Under-Secretary-General, ECOSOC, former Deputy-Secretary-General for UNCED; Quinn Sutton, Digital Alliance Foundation; Nathaniel Manning, Ushahidi; and Paul Hengeveld, Microsoft
Nitin Desai, former Under-Secretary-General, ECOSOC, former Deputy-Secretary-General for UNCED
Quinn Sutton, Digital Alliance Foundation
Soon-Hong Choi, CITO
Nathaniel Manning, Ushahidi
Daniel Stauffacher, ICT4 Peace Foundation
Gary Fowlie, International Telecommunication Union
Participants during the side event.
Participants during the discussion.
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Analysing REDD+: Challenges and choices
Organized by Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Wageningen University
The event, moderated Louis Verchot, CIFOR, presented on policy development and the early stages of implementing REDD+. It focused on how REDD+ is being shaped by institutions, interests and ideas.

Louis Verchot, CIFOR, presented his organization’s latest study, which is a global comparative investigation of the challenges and choices facing REDD+. He explained this report follows previous reports by CIFOR on moving ahead with and realizing REDD+.

Arild Angelsen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, outlined key aspects of REDD+’s evolution, and reviewed the forces behind its changes and ramifications. He underscored that it is too early to assess whether REDD+ works. Angelsen outlined the structure of the report, which looks at understanding, implementing and measuring REDD+. He said the changing economic incentives, ideas, information, actors and coalitions could achieve transformational change as a result of REDD+ and concluded that REDD+ has become successful as an idea and evolved significantly, even in the absence of a new international climate change agreement and with continued strong business-as-usual interests.

Daju Reosudarmo, CIFOR, discussed national implementation processes and explained the political-economic framework behind REDD+. She enumerated conditions for REDD+’s success, including relative autonomy of states and inclusiveness of REDD+ policy processes. She called for enhancing coordination between local, national and international institutions to prevent leakage or displaced emissions, through implementing monitoring, reporting and verification measures. On financing REDD+, Reosudarmo noted that short-term financing is available but disbursement is slow and investment possibilities are scarce.

William Sunderlin, CIFOR, discussed sub-national implementation processes. Noting the importance of land tenure regimes, he said there are proportionally more REDD+ projects in in the hands of local communities in Brazil compared to other countries. He stressed the importance of meaningfully involving villagers in the design and implementation of REDD+ projects and in balancing forest protection with welfare concerns. Sunderlin said there is a tendency to have REDD+ in biodiversity-rich countries, and near areas of high deforestation or near agriculture-dependent communities, suggesting that there is potential for additionality.

Louis Verchot, CIFOR, said the phases of REDD+ implementation include: readiness, policy measures and results-based actions. Verchot cautioned that developing reference emissions levels is constrained by lack of quality data. Verchot said that while REDD+ is a successful concept, there are a number of remaining challenges, such as coordination across governments.

Per Fredrik Ilsaas Pharo, Norway’s Ministry of the Environment, applauded CIFOR’s crucial role in REDD+ research. Cautioning about the risks of “aidification” of REDD+, he expressed hoped that Norway’s ODA in REDD+ will catalyze other developed countries to follow suit.

In the ensuing discussion, participants debated: when and who will determine whether REDD+ has become successful; impacts of land grabs on biodiversity and indigenous peoples; lack of capacity in developing countries to use quality data in assessing REDD+ progress; and the contributions of REDD+ to the decrease in deforestation in the Amazon.
L-R: Per Fredrik Ilsaas Pharo, Norway’s Ministry of the Environment; Arild Angelsen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences; Louis Verchot, CIFOR; William Sunderlin, CIFOR; and Daju Reosudarmo, CIFOR
William Sunderlin, CIFOR
Arild Angelsen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Louis Verchot, CIFOR
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Per Fredrik Ilsaas Pharo, Norway’s Ministry of the Environment
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Per Fredrik Ilsaas Phar’s presentation.
Participants during the side event.
Bo-Alex Fredvik (right), participant of CIFOR’s REDD+ side event, inquired what proportion of financial resources going to REDD+ will be used for monitoring, reporting and verification measures as opposed to the resources going directly to conservation efforts; as well as how the latter mechanism will evolve along side forest projects of the Clean Development Mechanisms.
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More Information:
http://www.cifor.org/
Contact:
John Colmey <j.colmey@cgiar.org>
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Expanding Energy Access to Achieve Sustainable Energy for All
Organized by the Carbon War Room, World Health Organization and UN-Energy
This event addressed the issue of access to sustainable energy as a precondition to achieving social goals such as: eradicating poverty; increasing food production; providing clean water; improving public health; enhancing education; creating economic opportunity; empowering women; and combating climate change. The panel discussed actions aimed at meeting the Secretary-General’s objective of universal energy access by 2030.

Chairing the event, José María Figueres, former President of Costa Rica and Director of the Carbon War Room, commended the efforts of the practitioners in the room, working on the front lines of delivering energy services around the world.

Kandeh Yumkella, Director General, UNIDO, emphasized the objectives of the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, including: achieving universal access to modern energy services by 2030; doubling the global rate of energy efficiency improvements; and doubling the proportion of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030. He stressed the importance of energy savings and energy efficiency for both rich and poor countries, saying that Africa pays more for energy than any other region.

Richenda Van Leeuwen, UN Foundation, announced the launch of a set of policy, financing and technical recommendations by the Energy Access Practitioner Network as the roadmap for scaling towards universal energy access. She recalled the obstacles encountered by practitioners on the ground, including unsupportive policy environments, inadequate financing for customers, assets and operations, and insufficient resources for developing innovations and building capacity to serve the poor.

Laura Stachel, Executive Director, We Care Solar, shared her experience as a doctor in maternal health facilities throughout West and South-East Africa, where surgery is at times performed by flashlight, or women give birth in darkness due to the lack of reliable electricity, thus contributing to high rates of maternal mortality.

Abser Kamal, Managing Director, Grameen Shakti, and M. S. Islam, Grameen Shakti, presented the activities of this renewable energy company in Bangladesh, including solar home systems, biogas technologies and improved cooking stoves, which aim to empower rural communities by accessing green energy to generate income, reduce poverty and improve quality of life. They emphasized the company’s use of customer-friendly and innovative financial packages with down payments as low as 10% of the total price.

Showing a video by Gisele Bündchen, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Radha Muthiah, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, spoke about promoting the development of international standards for cookstoves, as well as financing required to purchase cookstoves.

Mayank Sekhsaria, Co-founder, Greenlight Planet, stressed the importance of light for all activities, including cooking, reading, studying, working, and living. He outlined the experience of his company in developing solar-powered home lights, a product called “Sun King,” a solar lantern that replaces kerosene lamps. He emphasized the success of working in partnership with organizations that have access to non-electrified rural households, and their own proprietary distribution network, concluding that this approach not only brings light into rural homes, but provides an income stream for the local entrepreneur.

In the ensuing discussion, participants commented on the challenges of cookstoves projects, the role of voluntary carbon markets for financing, and the issue of solid waste management.
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L-R: Mayank Sekhsaria, Greenlight Planet; José María Figueres, Carbon War Room; Richenda Van Leeuwen, UN Foundation; Kandeh Yumkella, Director General, UNIDO; Laura Stachel, We Care Solar; Radha Muthiah, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves; Abser Kamal, Grameen Shakti; and M. S. Islam, Grameen Shakti
Abser Kamal, Grameen Shakti
José María Figueres, Carbon War Room
Kandeh Yumkella, Director General, UNIDO
Richenda Van Leeuwen, UN Foundation
Laura Stachel, We Care Solar
Participants during the side event.
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More Information:
http://www.carbonwarroom.com/
Contacts:
José María Figueres <jmfigueres@carbonwarroom.com>
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Rio+20: The future we choose
Organized by the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Fundação Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável, GSP and the Government of Brazil
During the morning session, Nobel Laureates and members of the GSP and The Elders presented the High-level Dialogue on Global Sustainability’s Declaration, “The Future We Choose: Tipping the Scales towards Global Sustainability,” to world leaders and called on a stronger role for science in the path to sustainability.

Israel Klabin, President, Fundação Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável, called for a new model of global governance, noting that Nobel Laureates lend credibility to the Declaration and demonstrate that science can deliver guidance if policy makers are willing to listen.

Moderator Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director, SEI, said it is too early to call Rio+20 either a failure or a success, but that strong leadership will make it the latter.

H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden invoked science as a guide to a future full of faith, trust and joy, noting that with science and common action the world can reach a turning point, rather than a tipping point across planetary boundaries.

Johan Rockström, Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre, chairing the panel, said that science is telling world leaders what must be done for a safe future, and pointed to new steps being taken to bring scientists and citizens together to design knowledge for common action.

Victoria Bignet, Stockholm Resilience Centre, read the Declaration, which calls for a new narrative for a positive future characterized by stewardship, multilateralism, and the three pillars of sustainabilty.

Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator, Rio+20, stressed the Declaration’s significance for guiding Rio+20, underlining it contains the words “we agree” and reminds us of the big picture that becomes lost in day-to-day negotiations.

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), recalled groundbreaking work of the previous three Nobel Laureate on Symposia on Global Sustainability, and announced the fourth symposium to be held in Hong Kong in June 2013.

Janos Pasztor, Executive Secretary, GSP, reviewed recommendations from the GSP, including the empowerment of people to choose their own futures, the necessity of good governance and health for sustainable development, and a global architecture of sustainability based on, inter alia, a new global assessment of sustainability and measures that go beyond GDP to encompass social and environmental capital.

In a panel discussion, on the Declaration and other key messages, Yuan-Tseh Lee, Nobel Laureate and President, International Council for Science (ICSU), in urging for a transition to a low carbon future, called for a “reorganization” of society and cooperative actions to ensure sustainable development. Douglas Osheroff, Nobel Laureate, noted that if temperatures continue to rise, oceans’ capacity to absorb CO2 will decrease, and instead, they will release CO2 into the atmosphere. Carlo Rubbia, Nobel Laureate, called for harnessing energy from the sun in order to alleviate reliance on fossil fuels.

Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland, and Co-Chair, GSP, stressed the importance of education at all levels and scales to effect a transition to a sustainable society. Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Coordinating Minister of Heritage, Ecuador, suggested that cultural and political pillars should be included as pillars of sustainable development. Felix Dodds, Executive Director, Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, expressed hope that the Rio+20 outcomes will address not only issues such as food, energy, water and climate, but also the interlinkages between them.

In the ensuing discussion, participants debated: the importance of education; noted the difference communication technology can make in order to achieve global sustainability; and the need for action at all scales, particularly at the local level.
L-R: Israel Klabin, President, Fundação Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável; H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden; and Queen Silvia Renate of Sweden
The dais during the side event.
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director, PIK, Chair, WBFU
Janos Pasztor, Executive Secretary, GSP
Victoria Bignet, Stockholm Resilience Centre
Victoria Bignet, Stockholm Resilience Centre, presented the Declaration from the Nobel Laureates Symposia and the GSP report “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing” to Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator, Rio+20.
Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator, Rio+20
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The panel discussion on the Declaration that was presented by Nobel Laureates and members of the GSP and the Elders.
Johan Rockström, Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre
Yuan-Tseh Lee, Nobel Laureate and President, ICSU
Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Coordinating Minister of Heritage, Ecuador
Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland, and Co-Chair, GSP
Urmas Paet, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Estonia
Douglas Osheroff, Nobel Laureate
Participants during the side event.
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More Information:
http://www.un.org/gsp/
Contact:
Johan Kuylenstierna <johan.kuylenstiernaSE@sei-international.org>
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*IISD RS coverage of the First Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of the outcome document and Third Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 19-23 and 26-27 March 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
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